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What tourists should NOT do in the UAE: prohibitions and tips



The United Arab Emirates, and Dubai in particular, is a popular tourist destination. There is something to see in this country, many of its sights are included in the Guinness Book of Records. But do not forget that the Emirates is a Muslim state, and the mentality of its inhabitants is different from the European or American one. 


The country has a large number of strict laws and prohibitions. Both locals and tourists are punished for violations, so it is better to know about them in advance. 


But there are no restrictions on demonstrating personal status and wealth. It is not forbidden to stay in an expensive hotel, drive luxury cars, eat in the best restaurants, shop in chic boutiques, etc. 


Seriously, you can find excellent services at affordable prices here. Speaking of the same cars, you can rent a G class in a good rental shop at a bargain price. The UAE is known for its sports cars or supercars, which are also available for rent from local rental services, as well as regular cars.


Promote alcoholism


The country has strict restrictions related to the consumption of alcoholic beverages and being in a state of intoxication in public places. Tourists are allowed to drink alcohol in restaurants, cafes, hotel rooms, or apartments. However, this relief does not apply to the emirate of Sharjah. It is even forbidden to carry alcohol on public transport. Violators face criminal penalties of up to six months in prison or a hefty fine of 2,000 AED.


Take pictures of local people


Emirates law prohibits photographing people without their consent. Therefore, tourists should be more careful in trying to capture the appearance of local residents on the camera of their phones. Before that, it is better to approach and clarify whether they object to this.


The rule does not apply to photographing large gatherings of people, such as when photographing local attractions. But in other cases, you will have to pay a large fine. For gross violations of the law, you can go to a local prison for as much as 7 years.


Physical contact between a man and a woman in public places


Strict restrictions on this matter applies in all emirates of the Muslim state. The maximum permitted for married couples is to hold hands. For closer contact - kissing, hugging, touching the stomach and intimate parts of the body, the same fine or imprisonment threatened.


The attitude of law enforcement agencies towards tourists on this issue is loyal. Foreign offenders are simply reprimanded. But this does not mean that the rules of the host country can be violated, because no one has canceled serious punishments.


The appearance of tourists in public places


When visiting the United Arab Emirates, do not forget that this is a conservative state and the laws of life of which are based on the provisions of the Koran and other religious codes. Special requirements are imposed on the appearance of local residents and tourists. Not allowed:


  • overly tight clothing, transparent elements through which underwear is visible;

  • deep neckline;

  • short sleeves, miniskirts, and shorts;

  • exposure of the abdomen.


Currently, serious penalties are not applied to violators of the dress code. It is not forbidden for women to be in open swimsuits on the beaches. Only the requirements for the appearance of visitors to mosques are strictly observed. However, do not violate the foundations and traditions of the country.


What tourists can not do in the UAE in public transport


All subway cars in Dubai (and this is the only subway in the UAE) are divided into three varieties: "silver", "gold" and "pink". Anyone can ride in the "silver" car, paying a fixed amount for it. The “golden” carriage with leather seats and wide armrests is available for those who are willing to pay double the fare. Only women and children under the age of 12 are allowed to travel in the “pink” carriage. A man seen in a "women's" carriage will be forced to pay a fine of 100 dirhams.


It is strictly forbidden to eat on public transport. The rule even applies to chewing gum. The amount of the fine is similar to that charged for travel in an "unsuitable" carriage.


You can not take places for the disabled and pregnant women, even if there are none nearby. For violation - a fine.

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